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How Do Dental Bridges Work?

Modern dentistry has many ways of correcting a gap in your smile. One way to fill a gap in your smile is with a dental bridge. But some dental patients aren't sure exactly how dental bridges work. This article will help you to understand how dental bridges can help to replace one or more missing teeth in your smile.

Dental bridges can replace one or more missing teeth

A typical dental bridge replaces one tooth with a pontic or false tooth. But dental bridges can also replace up to four or in rare cases, even more than four teeth. So if you are missing teeth and you don't like the thought of wearing false teeth or a denture, a dental bridge may be a more convenient and attractive solution for you.

Traditional bridges use two adjacent natural teeth as anchors

The most common type of dental bridge used in dentistry is the traditional bridge. This bridge may replace one or more teeth as long as there are two available teeth on either side of the gap. The two teeth on either side of the gap act as anchors. To create anchor teeth, a dentist first reduces the size of the adjacent teeth by removing enamel. This makes room for the dental crowns to which the pontic tooth or teeth or attached. The two crowns go over the teeth on either side of the gap, and the pontic tooth replaces the tooth in the gap. Because the pontic is attached to the crowns, it has the stability needed to function normally.

Cantilever bridges use one adjacent tooth as an anchor

Sometimes, only one tooth is used as an anchor. This is usually in the front of the mouth, where a person exerts less pressure while chewing. And sometimes, patients choose cantilever bridges because they don't want to sacrifice two natural, healthy teeth for use as anchors. Instead, a dentist places just one crown on one tooth adjacent to the gap, and this serves as the anchor for a pontic.

Maryland bridges rely on bonded wings to anchor to adjacent teeth

Maryland bridges don't rely on crowned teeth as anchors for false teeth. Instead, they use metal wings, which bond to the backs of the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. This is an option for patients that don't want to remove enamel from adjacent teeth. Maryland bridges are best used in the front of the mouth.